Westfield Area Y Flyers Earn All-American Honors at Junior Olympic Championships
Thursday, August 2, 2012 • 1:28pm
WESTFIELD, NJ - Young athletes in the Westfield Area Y Flyers Track Club proved they know how to hit the ground running at the recent USA Track & Field Junior Olympic National Track and Field Championships, held at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. On the first day of competition, July 23, three of its members—Matthew Ackerman, 9, of Westfield and sisters Melissa Endy, 13, and Grace Endy, 9, of Westfield—earned All-American honors.
Melissa Endy placed 3rd in the nation with a personal best performance of 17:36 in the Youth Girls 3000m Race Walk, earning All-American status for her second year in a row.
In her second trip to Nationals, Grace Endy also had a personal-best performance, placing 5th in Bantam Girls 1500m Race Walk, to earn her first All-American award.
Ackerman, in his first year with the Flyers, earned All-American status with his 5th Place finish in the Bantam Boys 1500m Race Walk.
All-American honors are awarded to the top eight athletes in each event. “To have three this year is just very exciting,” said Westfield Area Y Physical Director Greg Hatzisavvas. “They were thrilled—absolutely excited and happy.”
It was all part of a stellar season for the Flyers. “We had a total of 15 athletes qualify for the national finals this year. That was the most ever in the team’s history,” said Hatzisavvas.
Other athletes competing for the Flyers at the National Championships were the 17th ranked Youth Girls 4x800m relay team of Jillian Walter, Megan Power, Cindy Qiang and Amanda Bush. Caitlin Glynn placed 19th in the Intermediate Girls 3000m run and 31st in the 1500m run, Emily Wilson- 33rd in midget girls 80m hurdles. The Youth Boys 4x400m relay team of Darian Siegel, Ian Andrew, Ryan Siegel and Paul Dunham finished 34th and Abigail Granrath had a time of 3:03 in the 800m run to finish 20th in the Nation for Sub-Bantam Girls.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit westfieldynj.org to learn more about Westfield Area Y programs. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.